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More Ways to Go Abroad

Work, Intern, and Volunteer Abroad

If you are interested in gaining international experience, there are many options available to you beyond studying abroad.  

How to Find a Work, Intern, or Volunteer Abroad Experience

Use the categories and links below to help you start your search. Keep in mind that while this is a collection of great resources, it is by no means an exhaustive list. You can schedule an appointment with a Study Abroad Advisor if you have questions about work, intern, or volunteer opportunities in a specific country.

Information Sessions

If you are interested in working, interning or volunteering abroad, please check the Study Abroad, UC San Diego Google Calendar for upcoming events.  Currently, we hold several information sessions throughout the academic year:  JET Information Session (Fall Quarter), International Internships  (Fall & Winter quarters) and Teach and Work Abroad (Spring Quarter).

The Going Global After Graduation (Spring 2021) information session included an overview of multiple WIVA options. The recording available at

UCSD Resources for Work, Intern, and Volunteer Abroad

Working & Teaching Abroad

You can teach English or get other paid jobs while abroad. In order to be eligible for paid work in a country where you are not a legal citizen, you will need special permission from that country’s government in the form of a work permit or a visa. For more information on obtaining work permits/visas, contact the country’s embassy at their location in the United States.  

Work permit programs provide an opportunity for you to obtain a work visa in another country. These are also called working holiday visas. You will be required to find your own employment and most find work in the service industry.

Work placement programs place you in a job, usually procure work permits and sometimes assist with housing. Placement programs typically charge a fee for their services.



  • Teach Abroad Government Sponsored Programs: View a printable handout (PDF) of foreign government sponsored programs such as JET (Japan) and Fulbright.
  • Teach Abroad Programs & Private Opportunities:  View a printable handout(PDF) of teach abroad programs and private opportunities. 


Interning Abroad

While abroad, you can participate in internships that may be unpaid, for academic credit, or for pay. Paid internships are not eligible for financial aid and are typically full time.  Internships done for academic credit are usually unpaid and may be eligible for financial aid and/or scholarships.


For internships arranged independently (not through a program provider), you must find a UC faculty advisor and make arrangements through the UCSD Academic Internship Program in order to get academic credit at UCSD.

Types of Internships:

Academic:  An academic internship may be full-time or part-time, is usually unpaid and is typically arranged through a program.  May be eligible for financial aid.

Work:  May be paid or unpaid and self-arranged or through a program.  Not eligible for financial aid.

Internships for academic credit offered in conjunction with study abroad.  May be eligible for financial aid. 

May be paid or unpaid, self-arranged or through a program that offers placement.  Typically full-time and not eligible for financial aid.


Volunteering Abroad

Volunteering abroad is one of the best ways to get international experience. It is flexible and can last anywhere from one or two weeks to several years. You can volunteer abroad during summer, winter or spring breaks, for a quarter, year or even anytime after you graduate. 


Programs Abroad Administered by Other UCSD Departments

Looking for a low-cost, short-term program, either for academic credit, or just for the experience of being abroad? There are many high quality programs run by departments other than the Study Abroad Office.

Alternative Breaks

These national and international service and learning trips are coordinated through the Center for Student Involvement.

Visit the Alternative Breaks website for more information.

Anthropology Department Study Abroad

The Department of Anthropology offers field schools in several locations each year.

Visit the Anthropology Department website for more information.

UCSD Extension: Spanish Immersion Program

These language programs run from 2 days to 5 weeks in Ensenada, Mexico. Courses for all language levels are available. Academic credit is given through UCSD Extension. Host family options are available in all programs.

Visit the UC San Diego Extension Spanish Immersion Program website for more information.

Jacobs School of Engineering: Global TIES

Global TIES teams give students an opportunity to apply their skills in a real-world setting while learning the role that engineering and technology can play in solving the local and global problems.

Visit the Jacobs School of Engineering Global Ties website for more information.

Mexican Migration Field Research & Training Program

Established in 2004 as a core activity of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, students admitted to this program are trained to collect field data using standardized questionnaires (survey research) as well as unstructured interviews and participant observation. They do in-depth reading and write papers on the region and the communities in which they will be conducting fieldwork.

Visit the Mexican Migration Field Research and Training Program website for more information.